Four Blazers Named All-Midwest Region

Junior defender Darion Copeland garnered his second career All-Region honor.

Dec. 10, 2013

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Four members of the 2013 UAB men’s soccer team were named to the 2013 NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I Men’s All-Midwest Region teams, as it was announced on Tuesday. This marks the third time in program history that four members of the UAB men’s soccer team earned All-Region accolades in the same season.

Senior goalkeeper Raphael Ville was the lone Blazer to be recognized on the first team. Redshirt junior midfielder Alex Clay, junior defender Darion Copeland, and sophomore forward Freddy Ruiz all were named to the second team.

Ville played nearly every minute in goal for the Green and Gold the past two seasons. This year, he owned a 1.06 goals against average and .786 save percentage. The Courbevoie, France native ranked second in Conference USA in save percentage for the season. He was also a part of a UAB defense that recorded five clean sheets, which ranked sixth in the conference.

Clay finished the season with 22 points on eight goals and six assists, good enough for second on the squad and fifth in the conference. The redshirt junior midfielder also shared the league’s first Golden Boot Award, given to the league’s leading goal-scorer in conference play. Clay had seven goals in Conference USA action.

Copeland has started every match but one the past three years for the UAB men’s soccer team. One of the team’s co-captains, Copeland has been UAB’s anchor on its backline. The Blazers held a 1.25 goals against average, which ranked fifth in the league. On the offensive end, Copeland had a goal against South Carolina. The junior defender was an All-Region honoree in 2011, as well.

Ruiz was the leading scorer for the UAB men’s soccer team after tallying 26 points on 11 goals and four assists. The Fort Payne, Ala. native ranked second in the conference in total goals and third in points. He had a stretch during the season where he scored at least one point in seven straight matches.

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